windows xp wont install - sounds like ram

Compaq / Armada m700
May 26, 2009 at 06:41:30
Specs: Windows XP, 400 mhz/139 ram
i was trying to install windows 98 on a friends hard drive after having xp on it. basically, they only wanted to use it to play java games ( and check e-mail but couldnt because of how slow it was.

so i offered to install windows 98 on it from a cd i got from my step-mothers friend who paid 10 dollars for 2 of them at a hard sell. it wasnt in the best condition but i got it to install. so not even 5 minutes of looking at it and not even trying it out they wanted xp installed on it again. i guess they wanted to give up performance for looks.

so i tried to install xp back on it again and it kept saying it couldnt copy the files. i started to write them down hoping i could copy them from a hard drive later on but then it became every file. the cd is in excellent condition considering how much i paid for it.

then, i tried to install windows 98 back on it as a last resort. it would format and before it went to install the files it said to insert the cd into the cd-rom drive which was in there the whole time. then, i tried xp again and got the same errors as before.

so i was wondering if it was the cd-rom drive or the ram. i even tried cleaning the lens on the cd-rom. basically, they took the laptop and stopped talking to me after messing with it for an hour or two. its so hard to explain to someone who doesnt know a thing about computers.

also, booting from a floppy was out of the question since they wasnt going to go out and buy a floppy drive for it (if even possible). i set up there home network, went to the store to show them which pci card to buy and everything for free. how nice of me, right? they might still have it but they were talking about giving it back to whoever they got it from to buy another from them. so maybe i can make amends.

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May 26, 2009 at 09:34:22
When this has happened to me in the past, it has always been due to one of the following three issues:

1. The optical media is dirty/scratched/badly burned etc. Remedy: you need to get a better copy of the Windows disc.

2. RAM configuration is wrong or there is a problem with one of the sticks. Remedy: check that the RAM is appearing in the BIOS, and that it checks out OK when booting up the PC. Change the configuration (i.e. remove one or two sticks), and see if the problem persists. Try some other RAM if you can get a hold of it.

3. The drive is busted. A couple of times this missing file problem has cropped up for me but magically disappeared when I used an alternative CD-ROM drive.

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